Mark “Hilow” Garcia
As JM covered in the Angles email, we should expect the score required to take down GPPs this week to spike a little, with additional games on the main slate and more opportunities for slate-breaking scores to develop. The key on weeks like this is to ensure our lineups have the appropriate upside to be able to reach those heightened score thresholds. We’re also likely to see ownership a little more spread out compared to a standard week, with not as many clear-cut perceived smash spots. This leads us to an interesting dynamic, in that we have additional games on the slate but fewer obvious smash plays, which should raise the score needed to take down GPPs but keep the cash line around the same spot.
Henry remains quite literally the epitome of yardage and touchdown back. How to handle Henry can literally be summarized quite simply: play him for his slate-breaking ceiling when he is expected to not carry ownership and play the percentage fade when he is expected to have ownership, as when he misses, he misses hard. As the running back with the highest expected ownership on the slate, he’s a clear leverage fade for me.
(borderline BAD CHALK for the chance at cratering lineups when he’s not finding the end zone multiple times; borderline only for his immense ceiling)
DMO has one game since Week 2 with higher than a 4.2 yards per carry, running behind one of the worst run-blocking offensive lines in the league. We know the opportunities will be there, but there is but one game scenario in which we should expect the requisite amount of rushes to achieve the 100 yard bonus on a sub 4.5 yards per carry mark (a game flow that has the Bears playing with a lead throughout, which is highly unlikely against Deshaun Watson and the Texans – much more unlikely than last week against the Lions, playing without Kenny Golladay, where we labeled him differently). After popping for his only ceilings games of the year the last two weeks, I expect ownership to get a little out of control here, particularly considering the hike in price all the way up to $6,500.
(DMO is a floor play, and will not be treated as such this week; BAD CHALK)
Both are currently listed as questionable, but if I were a betting man, I’d say Coutee is closer to the previously used player status of “probable” while Cooks is legitimately “questionable.” Cooks is a tough sell regardless at likely high ownership (should he play), but I’m much more interested in Coutee, who carries a high catch rate (77.8%) and solid average depth of target (12.2 aDOT) against the backup slot corner to one of the most attackable slot coverage corners over the last two years (Buster Skrine).
(wide receiver chalk is one of the most difficult to accurately classify, but Cooks earns a BAD CHALK designation while Coutee earns a borderline GOOD CHALK designation)
Corey Davis is the David Montgomery of wide receivers (DMO derives his value from volume – albeit with low efficiency – whereas Corey Davis has a proven floor this year on the backs of solid efficiency – albeit on low volume). With two games all season above 20.1 points, but no games below 10.0 points, Davis carries a solid weekly floor with lower-than-perception chance at an eruption. Add in the fact that he went nuclear last week, and we’re sure to see people think that his standard range of six to seven targets is now somehow increased to double-digits. The ownership on Davis is sure to be higher this week than his chances at a slate-breaking game.
(unless you think Mike Glennon will lead the Jags to a two to three score lead over the Titans, Corey Davis’ Week 13 performance will be a far cry from realistic fantasy expectations here; BAD CHALK)
Teddy Bridgewater has six games over 30 pass attempts and five games under 30 pass attempts. This offense is built to grind out games by marching the field on short-intermediate work, meaning Anderson and his low aDOT role (9.5 aDOT, 82.3 air yards per game) will need to see the requisite volume needed to surpass 100 yards receiving and score simply to hit a 4x multiplier, against an opponent that should also be looking to slow this game down. With the absence of DJ Moore, his floor is absolutely locked in, but, like Corey Davis, the ceiling is less than public perception dictates, at likely higher-than-should-be-in-this-spot ownership.
(borderline BAD CHALK for lack of ceiling)
This is one of the rare weeks where I’m having a difficult time narrowing down the exact chalk build (ie where people are likeliest to spend their salary). On weeks like this, my personal habit pattern is to default to sound DFS theory and not worry as much about macro leverage, instead picking my spots to take a stand utilizing ownership as a guide. You’ll see one such spot here shortly. So instead of discussing the chalk build, let’s talk about the two ways to attack a slate like this one (as we identified in the Macro Slate View).
Because we can be all but certain we’ll require a higher score to take down a GPP this week when compared to a week with only 11 games on the main slate, but we don’t have clear smash spots that come with ownership, and thusly the score needed to cash is unlikely to be much different than any other slate, we have to choose what our goal for the week is: either choose the side of certainty in an attempt to cash and move on to next week or continue to hunt for the slate-breakers that can make our season. You can bet the house I’ll be upside hunting!
I’m unsure where ownership will ultimately end up on DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but anything under 20% in a game versus the Jets is a mistake. The big picture leverage comes from game stacking this game, which is likely to be under-owned relative to expected game environment. With Denzel Mims out and Jamison Crowder currently looking to be on the wrong side of questionable after picking up a calf injury on Thursday and subsequently missing practice on Friday, it’s looking like we’ll have a highly concentrated passing offense for the Jets against the team allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Breshad Perriman and Jeff Smith are likely to start on the perimeter, with Vyncint Smith mixing in for a handful of snaps and Braxton Berrios manning the slot should Crowder ultimately be held out. The one question mark regarding this game is how late into it we should expect Seattle to remain aggressive through the air, which is mitigated in my mind by the fact that they are fighting for playoff seeding and are playing an opponent better attacked through the air. In all, this appears to be not only one of the top game-stacking environments, but also one of the highest leverage spots on the weekend. As of this writing, I plan on having a game stack of this game in every entry I play this week. I’m that giddy about the mixture of low ownership and upside here.
While I don’t expect Samuel to go completely under the radar, I do expect he’ll be the lesser owned between he and Robby Anderson, and I view him as the superior play on paper. With DJ Moore out of the lineup, it’s Samuel (not Anderson) whose role and involvement in the offense is likeliest to grow, not Anderson, and the $1,000 price differential is non-negligible. I see no reason to “have to go here” this week, but the floor and ceiling of Samuel is comparable to Anderson’s at a lower price and lower ownership.
I expect Keke Coutee to be one of the highest owned wide receivers on the slate, and while his on-paper matchup is the best (Buster Skrine has been one of the worst coverage slot corners in the game over the previous two years and is now set to miss with his sixth concussion), the chances of him returning another monster game on a Deshaun Watson ceiling of 34-36 attempts is a tough buy at expected high ownership. Enter Hansen, who played the most snaps of any Houston wide receiver last week and is priced at only $3,900. This is purely what we’ll call an ownership leverage position, as Coutee is a strong “in a vacuum” play!
Now, Zeke is not Derrick Henry, but join me on a quick journey. The net-adjusted line yards metric for the Titans works out to 4.52, while the net-adjusted line yards metric for the Cowboys works out to 4.67, the highest on the slate. The Titans have a seven-point higher Vegas implied team total, but the expected ownership delta from Henry to Zeke is almost 25% and the price difference is a sizable $2,100. These are the types of plays that set lineups apart on a week like this.
This play is admittedly rather thin, but the ceiling Jones brings to the table in what should be one of the more positive game scripts the Bucs see this season is tantalizing at his expected ownership. The floor is cringeworthy, so he is unlikely to make my condensed player pool, but I felt he was at least worth a mention this week (and nobody should be on him).
Swift fits the mold and methodology of the CMC and Austin Ekeler plays from previous weeks, in that we get an uber talented running back coming back from injury, in a good matchup, with expected low ownership. In the two games prior to sustaining the injury, Swift averaged 19.5 running back opportunities with five targets in each game, and the public’s fear of playing a running back in his first game off injury should keep the ownership low. We’ve seen teams time and time again absolutely gash the Packers on the ground, who come into this game allowing 4.56 adjusted line yards on defense and 4.60 adjusted yards per carry. This is a simple case of talent + opportunity + cost not matching expected ownership.
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You can listen to Hilow and Lex on Run To Daylight (hosted by TodFromPA || presented by OWS!), live at 8 PM Eastern this Saturday. (Note: the podcast runs live, but it will be archived shortly after it finishes.)
We’re looking for the best game theory // leverage angles on the slate! Drop your thoughts below, and let’s see where we end up!!!
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